4 September 2012Print This Post

Warning over flaws in RTA process that could lead to 80% of cases falling out of extended scheme

Niemczewski: working party needed

The government needs to look at the underlying problems of the RTA claims process before extending it, or risk as many as 80% of cases falling out of it, the head of leading liability adjuster Garwyn Group has warned.

The Ministry of Justice is expected to announce the findings of its evidence-gathering exercise on the proposed RTA process extension in the next few weeks, with the aim of extending it to road traffic cases worth £25,000 and to employer’s and public liability (EL/PL) claims, by April 2013.

Artur Niemczewski, CEO of Garwyn Group, referred to the review of the process undertaken by Professor Paul Fenn and commissioned by the MoJ – published in July, this found that half of cases fall out even though liability is clear cut, which is less likely to be the case in EL and PL claims.

Mr Niemczewksi said: “Serious questions must therefore be asked about the effectiveness of the process in delivering its stated aims. If the government does not address the underlying issues before extending the process to EL and PL, we anticipate a much higher proportion of claims – possibly up to 80% – will drop out, and the process simply won’t work.

“Our experience is that the main reason claims leave the motor process is that the defendant is unable to respond on liability within the prescribed timescale, often because of inadequate information in the claim notification. There should therefore be a direct correlation between the mandatory content of the letter of claim and the period that the defendant is allowed to respond on liability.

“We call upon the government to recognise this fundamental principle and form a working party of practitioners to define content and timescales to allow the proposed portal extension to achieve its objectives.”

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One Response to “Warning over flaws in RTA process that could lead to 80% of cases falling out of extended scheme”

  1. I have discussed the idea of the extended portal with members of both sides of the claims process. The overwhelming majority of opinion is that an extended process may well have merit but it needs to be properly considered by practitioners from both sides of the process before being implemented.
    I recall being involved in the pilot that ultimately lead to the implementation of fixed recoverable costs in RTA cases and subsequently in the RTA portal.
    I was also involved in some of the discussions with the DTI which lead to the implementation of the COPD scheme for mineworkers.
    The overiding feature of both of those schemes was that the outcomes that were achieved took a great deal of cross party discussion and still involved many imperfections that required, and, in the case of the RTA portal clearly still require, revisiting and modification.
    The current proposals, whilst having laudable intentions, require input from those who have to work with them. Artur is entirely right. From the opposite side of the fence I join his call to Government to give their proposals more opportunity of achieving their aim by involving stakeholders.

  2. Jeremy Brooke on October 11th, 2012 at 2:52 pm